Outsourcing: The show must go on

Dr Sam De Silva reviews best practice for business continuity and disaster recovery schedules in outsourcing contracts ‘There should be an obligation on the service provider to review part or all of the business continuity plan (and the risk analysis on which it is based) on a regular basis.’Business disruptions, whether the result of natural …
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Procedure: Doing standstill by the letter

Kevin Calder assesses the potential pitfalls in standstill letters ‘The intended purpose of the letters, and the subsequent mandatory standstill period, is to ensure that bidders have sufficient information and time to review the award decision.’The concept of a standstill letter goes back to 1999, and a court decision known as the Alcatel case. That …
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Education: Free for all

Martin Vincent examines the thorny issue of student loans and university funding ‘The reliance on the provision of loans to students by the SLC bridges funding gaps and generates income for universities, but brings into question the status of universities as “contracting authorities” for the purpose of the Public Contract Regulations 2006.’The current economic climate …
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SMEs: Size matters

Al Goodwin and Amira Alyamani consider the role and importance of SMEs in procurement ‘Any procurement that engages public procurement law will almost certainly have to contend with the EU Treaty principles concerning transparency, equal treatment and non-discrimination (in particular).’According to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills figures, at the start of 2012 there …
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Contract: Keeping the faith

David Sawtell looks ahead from the Medirest judgment ‘The clearest point to be taken from the Medirest litigation is that the court will scrutinise the express terms of the contract.’The High Court and Court of Appeal decisions in Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust v Compass Group UK and Ireland (t/a Medirest) [2012]; [2013] have …
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Update: Have a care

Jack Hayward reports on a rather contentious time in procurement practice ‘For those involved in the outsourcing of public services, particularly to mutuals and staff buyouts, funding has always been an issue. The government has made much of social impact bonds but provided very little meat on the bones.’I have spent the past few months …
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Tendering: Nowhere to hide? Specific and pre-action disclosure in public procurement

Clare Arthurs discusses the use of disclosure in the procurement process ‘The courts understand that the balance of power is skewed in favour of the public authority during the procurement process, and will seek to help redress this balance where necessary.’The end of a procurement exercise is inevitably a disappointing time for every bidder bar …
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Commercial: Taking stocks

Uddalak Datta considers the implications of Pressetext on corporate transactions ‘The decision in Pressetext provides that amendments to the provisions of a public contract during the currency of the contract may constitute the award of a new contract when they are materially different in character from the original contract.’Following the decision of the CJEU, in …
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